William E. Manning

Drawing on nearly 40 years of experience practicing before Delaware’s state and federal courts, Bill Manning represents businesses in cases involving contract claims, business torts and claims arising under Delaware’s General Corporation Law and alternative entity statutes. In addition, Bill leads a team representing Delaware’s leading universities and co-chairs Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Higher Education Practice – a multi-specialty team providing sophisticated legal services to the nation’s public and private universities. Having served as legal counsel and then chief of staff to Governor Pete duPont, Bill is frequently called on to represent clients engaged in disputes with governmental agencies.

Commercial litigation, alternative entities and corporate governance

Much of Bill’s litigation experience comes from Delaware’s Court of Chancery. Selected litigated matters include:

  • Represented the owners of  Delaware corporations and alternative entities in several disputes over entity control
  • Represented a party to an LLC operating agreement in a case asserting breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing 
  • Represented the beneficiaries of a Delaware Statutory Trust in a petition seeking removal of the trustee
  • Represented those defending claims of breach of fiduciary duty and wrongful dissolution of Delaware corporation
  • Represented corporate plaintiffs in a Section 220 books and records action preceding dispute over control of Delaware corporation 

Higher education 

Bill and colleagues in Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Higher Education Practice advise leading institutions of higher education on a host of matters, including compliance with recent legislation and Title IX Office of Civil Rights guidance regarding sexual misconduct on campus; FERPA and state FOIA compliance; Title IV compliance; contracts with private vendors and joint venture partners; real estate development; non-profit tax matters; and governance. Selected litigated matters include:

  • Defense of a $200 million claim arising from the client university’s decision to terminate a ground lease for the development of a data processing center due to plaintiff’s lack of performance
  • District court jury trial defense of various claims arising from award to university-led consortium for research designed to improve the use of orthotics and prostheses for wounded soldiers
  • Defense of publicly supported university against First Amendment associational claims brought by fraternity
  • Defense of tenure denial case brought by faculty member diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome

Other Representations  

In addition to this work, Bill handles land use litigation, property tax appeals, and has represented a variety of clients before Delaware’s Public Service Commission.

Outside the practice of law, Bill spends time on his life-long passion: public education reform, having helped launch several charter schools and currently serving on the board of a non-profit organization that has converted a downtown office building into a host for several charter schools in Wilmington. In addition, he serves on the board of Ally Bank, one of the nation’s leading online banks.   

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